Executive decisions – Janome 8002D serger

Well, I suppose I am in the mood to ensure the stability and pleasure of my sewing loft! I have the Janome 8002D, mine is ages old, but I’ve been trying to purchase a backup for over a year.

As is the case with many goods, the machine has not been available. But – I found it yesterday on Amazon, only 10 in stock, and I ordered mine.

I imagine it will be a bit updated, but anything different will be subtle. I love this serger. It’s not ‘expensive’ at $299, it’s a powerhouse, it’s easy to thread, and, yes, it’s quiet.

Meanwhile, I’ve ordered a new upper cutting knife for my in-house Janome 8002D. Lately I’ve been getting lots of lint and some chunky cuts – I need a new knife. This is my third knife for this serger, but believe me, a new cutting blade can make the machine sew like new. I put a lot of mileage on my machines, and I try to take good care of them.

BTW, I really enjoy shopping machines and parts at Sewing Machine Plus. I would have purchased my new serger there, but they are out of stock. The staff and service are great, so they remain are my go-to machine site.

And that’s that! Ciao – Coco

p.s. my new Juki Exceed HZL-F300 sewing machine just arrived! oh, wow…

This and that..

Well, you never know what you’ll get here. It’s Friday, and I think I’ve had all the excitement I need for one week 🙂

We had a sudden drop in temperatures earlier this week. The result – even with mittens on – I had a huge Reynauds syndrome attack at the grocery, which is always cold. Do you have this unlovely issue? it’s painful, and when I got home I put my hands under running hot water. Ah – better. I keep mittens in my handbag and my car, but it still can get me.

Oh, the drama…. I was looking for a renewal of a medication subscription, but neither I nor CVS could get it going. I turns out that my PCP moved her practice, did not notify me, and, worse, did not respond to my or the CVS renewal request. I have spent hours on this, finding a new PCP and working with my AdventHealth care advocate on getting a refill. It gets worse – I will have to go to a ‘establish new patient’ appointment next week, for which I and/or Medicare will be charged. Even though my prior PCP is part of the AdventHealth network, and before I can even schedule my annual exam. Yes, I’ve submitted feedback. Could someone just transport me back 50 years to when my family doctor really did manage everything, including delivering my babies. I only see ‘specialists’ now, 6 of them. Aarrgghh…

More fun, almost on the same note. I am so cold most of the time, and I always wear a cardigan, even in the house. With time, cotton and cotton blend cardigans get so scratchy and worn. So – I decided to try a new fabric, mostly because I like the color, maybe because I was feeling like ‘why not’. This is Denim Steel Waffle Rayon Spandex Open Knit Fabric from Stylish Fabrics. I love it! I’ve ordered and trashed cotton waffle fabric in the past, it shrank and got contrary, even for baby blankets. So this was a real departure for me.

It laundered beautifully, does not ravel, and did not shrink. And it is incredibly soft. More later when the first cardigan is complete.

Short post, I hope you are well, loved, and looking forward to a nice weekend. Coco

Decided to buy a new machine anyway…

Sewing Machine

After all the angst brought on by my recent sewing machine mishaps (my fault entirely), I’ve decided to purchase a new sewing machine. Even though my Singer Quantum Stylist is working just fine. I bought the Stylist about 2 years ago, really as an interim machine, when I managed to destroy my HZL-600 by selecting a zig-zag stitch with a straight stitch presser foot in place.

I decided to move forward and buy a Juki Exceed HZL-300. I admit I really love Juki machines. Jukis are powerful, and even the home sewing models are built around the specs of their industrial machines.

Some reasons, i.e., features of the Juki that are not available on the Stylist (or most mid-priced machines):

  • The presser-foot tension on the Juki is adjustable. Probably 75% of the fabrics I sew are knits. Adjusting the presser-foot tension removes about 50% of the agony of sewing knit fabric! And of course makes sewing thin or thick fabrics much easier.
  • It has a box feed. Which means it moves the fabric under the foot uniformly on each side of the needle. On the Stylist, I often get pressure compression lines on the fabric to each side of the needle and feed dogs..
  • The upper thread/bobbin thread tension is excellent and dependably adjustable. Over the 55 years I’ve been sewing, I’ve had 5 Singers, and they have all had tension issues, including the Stylist. I’m a picky sewist, this has made me a bit nutsy from time to time with the Stylist.
  • The bobbin winder operates on a mechanism separate from from stitching motor. The bobbin load is glorious!
  • The buttonhole foot is connected to the machine by a plug-in sensor. Not by pulling down a flimsy foot that stops and starts the buttonhole stitching.
  • And then there’s the stitching – there is no comparison. The Juki stitches are beautiful.

Comparing price: the HZL-300 is currently $575, on SewingMachinesPlus, and it includes 100 needles and a passel of bobbins. The Stylist is priced at $500. I buy all my machines from this company – they have terrific prices and service.

My HZL-600 included 12 specialty presser feet, including a walking foot, which I still have. All set.

A note on the Exceed series, 300, 400, and 600. They are all the same machine, the difference being the number of available stitch patterns. I think 105 is enough for me 🙂

I’m excited! Coco

the last of the lizards…and that machine

Good morning! well, I finished the last garment in my 8-yard lizard fabric saga. I really love sewing this fabric, and the print is so much fun. Back story – I ordered 4 yards in the green color way, and 4 yards in a mocha color way. and JoAnn sent me all 8 yards in green. Refund, but I still had 8 yards of the same fabric!

My last post was all lizards, and this is the final make with the last yard or so. It’s one of my favorite combos, the Cali Faye Gardenia dress, with neckline and sleeves from New Look 6323. This neckline is just so gratifying…

A note on the neckband: I applied it twice, because the first one gaped. This is 100% cotton jersey – without a spandex element, I had to shorten the band. Which is OK 🙂 my seam ripper enjoys its place of precedence in the sewing room.

On another note, I recently posted (and deleted) a tale of woe regarding my sewing machine. The stitching rate had slowed to almost nothing, and I thought my power supply or presser foot sensor had failed. I got out my backup machine and ordered a new primary. But for some reason, before disposing of the faltering machine, I plugged the whole thing in once again. With coffee and morning brightness of mind, I found that the speed setting on the machine was set at its lowest point! I never touch this control, who knows how I managed to change it.

Anyway, machine saved and order cancelled. Whew. On to other projects with a lot of gratitude and humility!

Bye for now – Coco

A lot of lizards…

Such a story…I bought 4 yards of this cute lizard cotton jersey at my local JoAnn store, and I just loved it. No spandex, nice weight, easy to sew. So I went online and found it in another color way, kind of a mocha. Incredible – they sent me 4 yards of the same green color way! Of course they issued a refund, but I did have to figure out what to do with all those green lizards!

BTW, the fabric is from the JoAnn Pops! Juvenile fabric collection. Ha!

(1) a full-length Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan. Such a great pattern, I’ve probably made close to a dozen over the years.

(2) A self-drafted shark bite tunic. This pattern is a staple in my summer wardrobe, it is so much fun to wear.

(3) Pajamas! the pants are McCall 7634 yoga pants (as are the green ones above), and the top is the Wiksten tank. The latter is designed for woven fabrics, but all of mine are jersey knit. I looked for a link to the McCall pattern, but I think shopping Etsy, etc., is the best bet. These are my favorite ever yoga pants.

And I’m wearing them now, so comfy. And I still have well over a yard of fabric remaining.

OK, here it comes…leapin’ lizards! Ciao! Coco

Tessuti Lisa dress variation – dots

Spring! and time for another Tessuti Lisa dress, absolutely one of my favorite patterns. This version is inspired by a charming dress I found on Pinterest:

Sewing notes:

  • Size small.
  • Not wanting to match prints at the center front, I simply cut it on the fold – no button band.
  • Lowered the neckline and raised the armscye (it’s pretty low).
  • Cut a facing for the neckline instead of binding it.
  • Added patch pockets on the front skirt (in-seam pockets waving around in the skirt make me crazy).
  • Used the original hemline with a 12″ ruffle.
  • 3yd @ @55w, in cute over-sized dots! It’s Telio Verona Cotton Rayon Voile Dot Black/Ecru from Fabric.com.

It was so hot and bright in the back yard! but I already had my makeup on and tripod ready by the time I realized I would have to squint a lot. So a couple pics under the mandarin orange tree. Ahhh…so much better.

And that’s a wrap!

Ciao! Coco

A weekend ramble…

I’m feeling very mellow today – the weather is cool and drizzly, and I’m watching good films on Netflix with a crochet scarf project on my lap. So a chat, fresh coffee in hand..

I recently finished (another) Simplicity 8640 handkerchief hem dress, this one in rayon challis from Fabric.com. It’s called Telio Dali Rayon Poplin Print Botanical Floral in navy, but I’m not sure that’s correct. In the pic below, the fabric on the left is from the listing, and the one on the right is what arrived at my door. This is the second time I’ve had a ‘close but no bananas’ delivery from them. Weird.

Perhaps it was just fate, as my new very sunflower yellow Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan works perfectly with the dress.

I realized recently that I have an abandoned project in the Loft – I think I stopped working on it because I got distracted by Christmas projects. It’s a sleeveless blouse with a ‘statement’ collar, drafted using the Kathryn Brenne jacket, Vogue 9217. It will be finished soon, it’s cute.

I could not even remember which pattern and fabric I used, until I checked my Evernote files. I keep everything sewing on Evernote!

About that crocheting – I finally learned how to do a double crochet foundation row. It was a ‘duh’ moment for me when I learned that I did not have to do a basic chain stitch foundation. Tutorial: https://hearthookhome.com/foundation-double-crochet-tutorial/

To close, I must share an epic fail – the bodice in progress, my last post, did not work.

The collar was simply too heavy despite my efforts to support it. No tears shed. I had 5 yards in hand, and the remainder is currently being cut for a Tessuti Lisa dress!

I hope your weekend is peaceful, bye for now – Coco